British Cycling have launched the ‘Pro Road Membership’ in order to bolster support for male and female professional road riders in light of the home UCI Road World Championships and ahead of the upcoming Toyko 2020 Olympic Games.
The initiative will offer a network of support to riders, which includes access to British Cycling’s coaching, medical and performance support services, while also laying on training camps as well as information for the major races.
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The Pro Road Membership, described as a “safety net” is open to 23 male and eight female riders, having already held their inaugural training camp in Yorkshire in December.
This new scheme for road riders is intended to open up places on British Cycling’s ‘World Class Programme’ for riders who race the other Olympic disciplines. Eight professional road racers have transferred from the World Class Programme to the Pro Road Membership, opening up space for BMX rider Beth Shriever and mountain bikers Sean Flynn and Cam Orr.
Alice Barnes, Hannah Barnes and Lizzie Deignan will remain on the World Class Programme, but top British talent such as Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas, the Yates twins, Mark Cavendish and Hugh Carthy are amongst the riders who now have Pro Road Membership. Meanwhile, Lizzy Banks, Dani Christmas, Anna Henderson and Sophie Wright are among the riders representing Britain’s professional female contingent.
Commenting on the launch, Geraint Thomas said: “There is no doubt my time on the Great Britain Cycling Team’s academy programme played a huge part in my successes on the track and road, and it’s great that British Cycling have found a way to be able to offer more places to riders who can benefit from this opportunity, while creating a membership which better suits the needs of pro riders.
“We are fortunate to have such a strong squad of road riders on both the men’s and women’s side, and I think we can expect great things over the coming months and years. It’s always an honour to represent the Great Britain Cycling Team and with the introduction of this new programme for pro riders, I think we will be more prepared than ever to race for our country.”
British Cycling’s Performance Director Stephen Park said: “British Cycling’s World Class Programme is famous for producing podium results at the highest level with big ambitions to continue this legacy through Tokyo 2020, Paris 2024 and beyond.
“The World Class Programme structure is key to the development and success of the other Olympic and Paralympic disciplines, but we have recognised that it isn’t the primary support structure for the majority of our professional road riders.”
Full men’s Pro Road Membership: Adam Blythe (Lotto-Soudal), Hugh Carthy (EF Education First), Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data), Gabriel Cullaigh (Wiggins Le – Col), Steve Cummings (Dimension Data), Scott Davies (Dimension Data), Owain Doull (Ineos), Alex Dowsett (Katusha-Alpecin), Chris Froome (Ineos), Tao Geoghagen Hart (Ineos), James Knox (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), Chris Lawless (Ineos), Dan McLay, Luke Rowe (Ineos), James Shaw (Swift Carbon Pro Cycling), Ian Stannard (Ineos), Ben Swift (Ineos), Connor Swift (Arkéa-Samsic), Harry Tanfield (Katusha-Alpecin), Geraint Thomas (Ineos), Scott Thwaites (Vitus Pro), Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott).
Full women’s Pro Road Membership: Lizzy Banks (Bigla), Dani Christmas (Lotto-Soudal), Henrietta Colborne (Biehler), Anna Henderson (TIBCO-SVB), Nikki Juniper, Abby Mae Parkinson (Drops), Hayley Simmonds (BTC City Ljubljana), Sophie Wright (Bigla).